As we have heard, interim DNC chair Donna Brazile appears to have been tipped off to at least one question that was asked at a CNN-hosted town hall between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. As politico.com reports:
The email obtained by POLITICO was written by town hall co-moderator Roland Martin on the day of the town hall to CNN producers. But it shows him using word for word the language of a question that Brazile appeared to have sent to the Clinton campaign a day earlier. That email, from Brazile to the campaign, was included in yesterday’s release of hacked emails by Wikileaks of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta.
[M]artin initially said in an interview on Tuesday that he did not “share my questions with anybody. Literally. My executive producer wasn’t even aware of what I was going to ask.”
In a follow up interview on Tuesday, Martin said that he did send his questions to CNN via his producer and his TV One team.
In a follow up email on Wednesday, upon being informed of the email POLITICO had obtained, Martin said he did not believe had had consulted with Brazile ahead of the town hall.
“As far as consultation, I don’t believe I did. I know I asked all of my social media followers for their input on what they wanted me to ask. I did the same for the Hillary Clinton town hall we did in South Carolina in 2014. And I know that I called Rep. Clyburn to lock down language on his 10-20-30 amendment. That is an issue I’ve pushed for several years. I also know I called other members of Congress to ask them specific questions about their various bills and their status. All of that informed my questions. That’s called research,” Martin wrote.
But he did not explain how Brazile could have had the same exact language of a proposed question a day before he submitted them to CNN producers. CNN, in turn, is pointing the finger at TV One.
[I]n a statement on Tuesday, Brazile, whose contracts with CNN and ABC were suspended when she became interim DNC chair in July, denied receiving questions in advance or sharing them with the campaign, writing, in part, “As a longtime political activist with deep ties to our party, I supported all of our candidates for president. I often shared my thoughts with each and every campaign, and any suggestions that indicate otherwise are simply untrue. As it pertains to the CNN Debates, I never had access to questions and would never have shared them with the candidates if I did.”
WikiLeaks discloses the following reply from Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri to Brazile:
“Here’s one that worries me about HRC,” she wrote.
To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: 2016-03-12 19:41
Subject: Re: From time to time I get the questions in advanceHi. Yes, it is one she gets asked about. Not everyone likes her answer but can share it. Betsaida – can you send her answer on death penalty?
Sent from my iPhone On Mar 12, 2016, at 4:39 PM, Donna Brazile <email@example.com> wrote:
Here’s one that worries me about HRC. DEATH PENALTY 19 states and the District of Columbia have banned the death penalty. 31 states, including Ohio, still have the death penalty. According to the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, since 1973, 156 people have been on death row and later set free. Since 1976, 1,414 people have been executed in the U.S. That’s 11% of Americans who were sentenced to die, but later exonerated and freed. Should Ohio and the 30 other states join the current list and abolish the death penalty?
<firstname.lastname@example.org>Sent from Donna’s I Pad. Follow me on twitter @donnabrazile
Watch as Brazile unconvincingly bobs and weaves during an interview with Megyn Kelly:
Brazile denied receiving any information from CNN, but as a good lawyer should, Kelly asked where, then, did she obtain it? Brazile flounders like “a good Christian.” Her good Christianity apparently justifies dishonesty, but that’s standing procedure with the Clinton campaign.
As Fox News reports:
The exchange came right before a March town hall hosted by CNN and TV One, where a similar question was asked. Yet Brazile denied receiving questions from CNN.
“I have seen so many doctored emails. I have seen things that come from me at 2 in the morning that I don’t even send,” she said, adding, “I will not sit here and be persecuted, because your information is totally false.”
So, the information is “totally false” because Brazile has “seen so many doctored emails.” Fox News continues:
However, tech blog Errata Security quickly found the email in question could be verified using an everyday verification program.
DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) is a system employed by many email servers, including HillaryClinton.com, to verify emails to recipients and avoid spam filters. The system sends a DKIM “key” to the receiver to verify the sender and confirm the email hasn’t been tampered with.
Consequently, bloggers ran the DKIM keys included in this and other emails through verification software, which in turn validated the Palmieri email as both real and undoctored. The Daily Caller also ran a similar test and got the same result.
In a blog post for Errata Security, cybersecurity expert Robert Graham presented his results, and showed that if the emails had been altered in any way, the software would have declared the email unverified.
“It took less than five minutes,” Graham told FoxNews.com, noting that such software is common and widely available. “It took me longer to document what I had found.”
But could WikiLeaks have hacked and altered the DKIM key also?
Graham says this is unlikely, since to do so they would have needed to access the HillaryClinton.com server.
Graham is so confident in his finding that he has posted a $600 BitCoin challenge to anyone who can alter an email and have it still come up as verified when run through DKIM software.
“If somebody tells you this blogpost is invalid, then tell them they can earn about $600 (current value of BTC) proving it. Otherwise, no,” he says.
Clinton running mate Tim Kaine has also suggested the WikiLeaks emails could be doctored, but so far neither the campaign nor the DNC has presented evidence to support this claim.